Jordan Spieth’s wonderful win at the Open Championship under a month ago leaves him on the brink of a career grand slam of golf’s major championships. The 24-year-old can complete the set this week at the US PGA Championship but he’ll have to outcompete some of the world’s best players in top form to do so.
Quail Hollow plays host to a major championship for the first time this week but it is far from a new venue for the majority of those taking part. As the long time host of the Wells Fargo Championship, the North Carolina course is one of the most popular annual stop offs on the PGA Tour.
However, those hoping to simply rely on their previous form at Quail Hollow will have to think again. The layout has undergone serious renovations to make it major championship ready. The changes include three new holes on the front nine, although the infamous ‘Green Mile’ has remained unchanged. One of the most fearsome closing stretches in all of golf, the final three holes will go a long way to deciding the winner come Sunday.
Everything Pointing Towards a Big Display from McIlroy
Rory McIlroy has as many reasons as anybody to be excited about this year’s US PGA Championship. The Northern Irishman won his first PGA Tour title at Quail Hollow back in 2010 and has twice triumphed in the PGA Championship. McIlroy has also returned to something approaching his best form following a season of struggle.
There is a slight concern that the changes made to Quail Hollow will catch McIlroy out now that he’s parted with his long term caddie and has his best mate, who is not a professional caddie, on the bag. But, this is a course which has traditionally played into the hands of the best drivers and that’s likely to be even more true now that the par 71 has been stretched to 7,600 yards. McIlroy is a fair favourite and looks a very good bet at 8/1 with Betfred.
Thomas Can Cap Off a Wonderful Season in Style
Having grown up playing golf with Jordan Spieth, it was understandable that Justin Thomas was asked about Spieth almost every time he spoke to the media. But this season people have begun talking about Thomas in his own right. The 24-year-old won an incredible three tournaments this season before January and while he’s been a little quieter of late, he’s got a top 10 finish at Quail Hollow to his name so back him each way at 45/1 with Sky Bet.
Can Big Phil Claim Major Number Six?
There can’t be any more entertaining golfer to follow than Phil Mickelson. ‘Lefty’ is the sort of player who never takes the easy option when there’s a chance of something wonderful happening by taking a risk. That approach has hurt him a little in recent years but he is still competitive at the top of the game and with a wonderful record at Quail Hollow that includes six top 10s in the last decade, he could go close again, so an each way bet looks worth a shot at 66/1 with BetVictor.